Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanks for the Grapes, Jimmy.

Photo: Steven, a cashier at Superstore

At Metrotown Mall, Superstore has lower food prices, but Save On Foods has better customer service. In fact, the customer service at Save On is amazing.

I was at Metrotown on Saturday doing some shopping, and I bought some grapes on sale for $1.78 a pound at Save on Foods.

When I got home, and looked through my shopping bags, I didn't have that bag. So the next day, I phoned Customer Service at Save On and asked if they'd found my bag. I said I was going out that way again so if they'd found the grapes, I'd pick them up. They hadn't. "It doesn't matter," I told the clerk, "they were only $1.78" -- I remembered the total because it had been been the same as the price per pound. The clerk told me to drop by and he'd replace them.

And he did.

Contrast that with Superstore at Metrotown. A former Downtown Eastsider was telling me in early November about her encounter with the cashier from hell at Superstore. His name was Steven. I told her that if she got his photo, I would write him up.

When the customer was going through the check-out, Steven treated her like a shoplifter. He wanted to check her shopping bag. Fair enough: she was carrying a Superstore bag with her lunch in it. When she didn't object to him checking it, he lost interest. "He didn't open it, he just squeezed my pita sandwich. And he made a face, like yuck."

With all this fuss, Steven forgot to ask the customer if she wanted a plastic bag for her groceries. So after she paid, she asked him for one, but by this time he was on to the next customer. "He said no," she exclaimed. "He wouldn't give me one," she said, shaking her head in amazement. I agree with her that this is odd, as I've had busy cashiers at Superstore forget to ask me if I want a plastic bag, so they just hand me one instead of getting bogged down over five cents.

Steven did eventually toss this customer a bag, reluctantly. "I was tired of him blaming me so I said, 'It was your mistake, you know.' "

After packing her groceries, she realized she needed a second bag. "I wanted to double-bag [the groceries]; they were heavy." Steven told her she couldn't have another bag, and he turned back to his customer. So she spotted a plastic bag lying on the floor. "It was dirty; people were trampling over it." She picked it up and was putting her other bag into it, when Steven turned around. "Soooo, you took one anyway," he said accusingly. "He was livid." She told him she had picked it up off the floor.

Steven demanded that she pay him five cents for that bag and another five for the other bag. "I pay for bags there all the time but I'm not going to pay for a filthy bag off the floor."

Steven called the supervisor. The supervisor defended Steven. She said all bags had to be paid for. "Not a dirty one off the floor", the customer recalled saying. "Yes," said the supervisor, even a dirty bag must be paid for. But the supervisor let it go, this time.


Anonymous said...

mm hmmm, i'm so sure he "tossed" the bag to her.

It's more exciting than saying that he gave her a bag isn't it?

I've encountered rude staff all over the city, shall i send you my stories? I'm working poor if that makes a difference to you...

reliable sources said...


"mm hmmm, i'm so sure he 'tossed' the bag to her. It's more exciting than saying that he gave her a bag isn't it?"

The term "tossed" is accurate. The way the customer tells it, she was standing at the end of the counter where groceries are packed, which was beyond arms- length distance from Steven when he was standing at the cash register serving the next customer.

I go to that Superstore too and have had cashiers toss me a bag or two if I ask for one while I'm packing my groceries (in cases where they have forgotten to ask me earlier if I needed a bag or I had underestimated how many I needed.)

The difference between those cashiers and Steven seems to be in the attitude.

Anonymous said...

So everyone (cashiers) should behave in the EXACT same way as each other?
Sucks for individuality eh?

If "tossing" bags is normal, then why even mention it?

Anonymous said...

Save On Foods Sucks. i get treated better at superstore than save-on when i'm at metrotown which is 4X a week. i was spending hundreds a month at save-on and mgr Pavel (long hair w grey strands) jumped out from the end of the aisle and was fierce, shouting at me for nibbling from the bag of nuts I got at the bulk section while i was shopping. ARE YOU GOING TO EAT THOSE OR ARE YOU GOING TO PAY FOR THEM??? bAd attitude. i buy a ton of smoked trout and vegetables and rice cakes there.

after that i was their BIG CASE. pavel would have a cat and mouse game each time i came in, getting on his cell and getting staff following me and reporting back to him within earshot of me. there were like 5 customers besides me in the store at night. i tried to ignor it bc i know i'm not a shoplifer.
today i was there with my basket full of groceries when mgr. harold (strawberry blonde hair, 35ish) accused me of eating grapes. I WAS WATCHING YOU AND YOU ATE SOME AND THEN YOU WENT BACK AND GOT MORE. what an exaggeration. i told him i tasted the grapes to see if they were any good and they were pretty good so i went back and got an extra bunch to TOP UP my bag. the way he put it, i feasted on grapes and went back for a refill. he wouldn't listen to me although he wasn't as over the top as pavel who had a totally fck u attitude AT SAVE ON, THE CUSTOMER's ALWAYS WRONG.
i let harold know i spend hundreds a month in this store and i just won't come back if this is how you treat a regular customer. he said I THINK YOU ATE MORE THAN A FEW. maybe i ate six. over that they threw away $400 a month in sales from me. i was so upset i left my basket with my fish etc. on the floor.

Anonymous said...

"tossed" you want to see tossed, go to jim pattison's stores and watch the cashiers throw the fruit into your bag and bruise it. i can hear it hit the counter under the bag.
would somebody please tell that big melatto girl with the pony tail at Nesters at woodwards that an apple is not a baseball?

Anonymous said...

i went back to that nester's twenty minutes ago and same thing happened. this time it was a white girl with long brown hair tied back. asked her if she could be careful not to bruise the tomatoes when's she's packing, so she drops them into the bag on the counter like she didn't hear me and she gets snotty asking me if i'm sure i even want a bag.

Anonymous said...

Save On Foods @ Cambie/6th in Vancouver has a bait 'n switch sale on.They have been advertising pre-cooked bbq trout on sale since june 12/11 and they haven't had it.They say it's on order and they don't know when it will arrive.They lure customers into the store to buy trout at sale price and sell them pre-cooked bbq salmon at regular price.